Most of us are pretty busy. The very fact that you read blogs means you’re probably busy (I suppose it could mean you’re too lazy to do real work, but I think that’s unlikely, considering this is a more-or-less tech blog). The sheer number of ongoing and one-off projects in my life is actually a little scary to consider, so I won’t list them here. How do we get it all done?
I think the simple answer is: We don’t. (Yes, there is a 3% minority of you that DO get it all done, but you are few and far between. Good on ya.)
I have an analogy. I was listening to Dave Ramsey, a financial guru, yesterday, and he got the question again: “I have a variable income. How do I budget with that??” His answer is to list out the things you need to pay for, from the most important down. Each month, whatever money there is goes to the top N things that it can cover, and that way the most important things get paid.
I operate much that way mentally about my task list. Today I have about a zillion things to do for work, for MidnightDBA-related stuff (like this blog), and for personal matters. I have some random amount of time available, so I pick the most important things and do those first: data import (work), blog (MidnightDBA), car brake repair (personal). And then the next things, and the next.
Tasks will slide, priorities will change as deadlines approach, and I’m not ever going to get it all done. That’s good, actually…I always liked staying busy.
Two final notes:
Of course, certain priorities leap to the top of the list at certain times of the day: food at lunch, kids at 5pm, me time at 9pm. There must be balance to the force.
And yes, I do use Outlook for schedule and reminders, and RememberTheMilk.com to brain dump and prioritize and remind about tasks. I cannot possibly keep it all in my head.